In The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. E-mail your suggestions for In The Know items to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.
Today you should know that the settlement of a class action lawsuit over abuses in Oklahoma’s child welfare system will create a panel of three out-of-state child-welfare experts to oversee DHS reforms. You can read the full settlement agreement here. The Obama administration rejected Oklahoma’s request to shield health insurance companies from the requirement that they spend at least 80 percent of the money they collect in premiums on medical costs. OK Policy previously recommended to HHS that they deny the request, and we explained on our blog why we shouldn’t give profitable insurers a free pass to shift more costs onto consumers.
Today the OK Policy Blog discusses the problem of wage theft and how we are failing to ensure minimum wage and fair overtime policies for all workers. Boeing plans to move 800 jobs to Oklahoma City, the majority coming from Wichita. Suggesting widespread modest improvement in the job market, unemployment in November fell in 75 of 77 state counties and in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as it did in three-quarters of U.S. cities. A wet finish to 2011 could be a boon to Oklahoma’s economy thanks to a rescued winter wheat crop.
A legislative task force on children of incarcerated parents recommended making visits and communicating with inmates easier on children, expanding community-based sentencing programs, and designating an agency to track the needs of these children. You can read the full task force report here. Residents in Paden, Boley, Okemah and Prague woke up Wednesday morning to find flyers from the Ku Klux Klan on their front yards. An audit found that a former assistant state superintendent falsified travel reimbursements over the course of three years to make it appear as though she was working.
The Tulsa World writes the tax reform task force proposal to eliminate the personal exemption and important low-income tax credits borders on shocking. The Number of the Day is the percentage of mortgages in Oklahoma that were delinquent during the 3rd quarter of 2011. In today’s Policy Note, Robert Reich traces the history of the decline of the public good in American society.